On January 26, YKHC met with members from the Tuluksak Native Community, the State of Alaska, Indian Health Service (IHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and several other federal agencies to solidify plans and funding for temporary and permanent solutions to bring water services back to Tuluksak following a fire of the water treatment plant and washeteria. Immediate and intermediate plans are now in place, and discussions about permanent solutions are underway.
YKHC’s immediate short-term plan provides $150,000 of funding to restore non-potable water to Tuluksak for cleaning, bathing, and other sanitation needs of the school and community. This plan will also include the building of a temporary washeteria. This process is estimated to take three or more weeks to complete. YKHC, IHS, and Bureau of Indian Affairs will continue to provide bottled water for drinking until potable water is restored by the next phase, the intermediate plan.
YKHC’s intermediate plan will provide $1.5 million in funding to deliver a mobile water-plant building capable of producing potable water to Tuluksak via the ice road. Bethel Search and Rescue, along with the village of Napaimute, have already successfully plowed the community’s ice-road. This building will be delivered when the river is safe enough to do so and used until a permanent build of the new water plant is complete.
YKHC will provide initial funding and front all costs for both the immediate and intermediate projects. Further discussion is underway with the IHS, USDA, HUD State of Alaska and others to seek reimbursement for this emergency funding.
“We are excited to help Tuluksak restore its water services. It has been and will continue to be a team effort by all involved,” said Dan Winkelman, YKHC President & CEO.